Thursday, December 17, 2009

#66: Tribute To The Smiths

Playlist for Sunday December 20, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Mary Grebenc


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. On My Way - Alvin Smith
3. Adieu False Heart - Arthur Smith Trio
4. Take Me For A Buggy Ride - Bessie Smith

5. Loose Talk - Carl Smith
6. The Bald-Headed End Of A Broom - E. Walter Smith
7. Ellen Smith - Hobart Smith
8. Women - Lendon Smith With The Jesters

9. Walk In The Parlour - Sid Hemhill And Lucius Smith
10. It Went Down Easy - Melvin Smith
11. Right Behind You Baby - Ray Smith
12. Bread Line Blues - Slim Smith

13. Shorty George - Smith Casey
14. You're A Viper - Stuff Smith & His Onyx Club Boys
15. I Want Two Wings - Rev. Utah Smith
16. Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache - Warren Smith

17. When That Great Ship Went Down - William & Versey Smith

Saturday, December 12, 2009

#65: What Comes Easy To A Fool

Playlist for Sunday December 13, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Kyle Fitzsimmons


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Easy Goin' Sunday - The Knitters
3. Easy In The Early ('Til Sundown) - Uncle Earl
4. Easy As Day - The Silver Hearts

5. Easy As the Rain - The Little Willies
6. Every Hand In The Land - The Abrams Brothers
My itunes had this song listed as "Easy Hand In The Land", thus it's appearance here. Of course I didn't discover the error until I was on air. C'est la vie!

7. There Is No Easy Way - The Louvin Brothers

8. Easy Rider Blues - Soileau & Robin
9. Easy On The Eyes - Andre Williams & The Sadies
10. It Went Down Easy - Melvin Smith

11. Mellow Down Easy - Little Walter
12. Go Easy Blues - Prairie Ramblers
I brought the wrong CD in so what we actually played was The Carolina Tar Heels "Don't Like The Blues Nohow" It's never really easy, is it?

13. Doin' What Comes Easy To A Fool - Junior Brown
14. It's Too Easy - Dave Rawlings Machine

15. Easy Payment Blues - Rudy Sooter

Thursday, December 3, 2009

#64: House Where Nobody Lives

Playlist for Sunday December 6, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Nicole Bilyea


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Ain't Nobody's Business - Earl Johnson & His Clodhoppers
3. Nobody Knows What You Do - John Hartford
4. Nobody Knows, Nobody Cares - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
5. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen - Charles Brown

6. I Don't Love Nobody - Elizabeth Cotten
7. I Ain't Nobody's Darling - Pipers Gap Ramblers
8. I Ain't Got Nobody - Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

9. Ain't Nobody's Blues But My Own - Wayne Hancock
10. Nobody's Fault - The Dixie Hummingbirds

11. Nobody Home - Luther Wright & The Wrongs
12. Ain't Nobody Home But Me - Pink Anderson
13. House Where Nobody Lives - Tom Waits
14. Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby - Sidney Lee Carter

15. Nobody's Child - Traveling Wilburys

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#63: Singing To The Dentist - Songs About The Mouth!

Playlist for Sunday November 29, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Kent MacMillan


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Singing To The Dentist - Jeffrey Frederick & The Clamtones
3. Interfaith Dental Clinic - Townes Van Zandt
4. Sweet Tooth - Dave Rawlings Machine

5. When That Lovebug Bites You - Wilf Carter
6. I'm Biting My Fingernails And Thinking Of You - Ernest Tubb
7. Chew Tobacco Rag - Al Trace And His Orchestra
8. Bite It - Screamin' Jay Hawkins

9. Tongue Tied - Wanda Jackson
10. Tongue-Tied Jill - Charlie Feathers with Jody & Jerry
11. Slip Of The Tongue - Mary Gauthier

12. Your Goddamn Mouth - Freakwater
13. Loud Mouth - Modern Mountaineers
14. Put Your Money (Where Your Mouth Is) - Nathan Lawr

15. Mouth to Mouth Resuscitation

Thursday, November 19, 2009

#62: Coming To Your Senses

Playlist for Sunday November 22, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Glenn Valliere


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. What's That Tastes Like Gravy - King David's Jug Band
3. You Got Good Taste - The Cramps

4. I Heard The Bluebirds Sing - Hal Lone Pine
5. I Heard About You - Charline Arthur
6. I've Heard That Tearstained Monologue You Do There By The Door Before You Go - John Hartford

7. A Touch Of God's Hand - The Sons Of The Pioneers
8. By The Touch Of Her Hand - The Carter Family
9. Touch Me Light, Mama - George "Bullet" Williams
10. Touch Me - Willie Nelson

11. Red Silk Stockings And Green Perfume - Rose & The Maddox Brothers
12. Take A Whiff On Me - Woody Guthrie

13. Come Over And See Me Sometime - Georgia Yellow Hammers
14. I've Just Seen A Face - The Dillards
15. Long As I Can See You Smile - Maria Muldaur

16. Common Sense - John Prine

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#61: Eat To The Beat

Playlist for Sunday November 15, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Shannon Lee Stirling


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. The Farmer Is The Man Who Feeds Them All - Fiddlin' John Carson
3. Big Group Breakfast - Old Man Luedecke

4. Beans - Beans Hambone & El Morrow
5. Greasy Greens - Pink Anderson
6. Take An Old Tater (& Wait) - "Little" Jimmy Dickens
7. Homegrown Tomatoes (live) - Guy Clark

8. I Heard The Voice Of A Porkchop - Jim Jackson
9. Ham Beats All Meat - Tony Allen
10. Eat That Chicken - Charles Mingus

11. It Ain't The Meat (It's The Motion) - Maria Muldaur
12. Food And Pussy - Dan Reeder
13. Mary's Kitchen - Old Crow Medicine Show

14. Slurf Song - Michael Hurley

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

#60: Shake A Leg

Playlist for Sunday November 8, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Claire Morris


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Old Shoes & Leggins - Uncle Eck Dunford
An "old" man comes courting. "But the girls wouldn't have him". Harry Smith, in the notes to his celebrated 'Anthology Of American Folk Music' summarizes the song thus: "MOTHER HOSPITABLE, BUT GIRLS FIND SHODDY OLDSTER'S ACTIONS PERVERSE"

3. Jake Legs Blues - Byrd Moore
During prohibition, the drinking of home distilled alcohol, known as Moonshine (since it was often manufactured under the cover of night), was widespread. Such unlicensed beverages were also sometimes called "Jake" liquor, though this more properly refers to a patent medicine that contained a Jamaican Ginger Extract that, because of its high alcohol content, was consumed recreationally. Over-indulgence in unregulated liquor could be a risky proposition healthwise. Blindness, nerve disorders, & ulcers were common afflictions. In the southern states some estimate that about 50,000 people suffered from partial paralysis of the legs as a result of drinking Moonshine or "Jake". Often the paralysis was temporary, but sometimes permanent. The result was a high-stepping, foot-slapping gait that was referred to as the 'Jake Walk' or 'Jake Leg'. Byrd Moore recorded this song in March 1930, one of the first cultural documents of the affliction.

4. Crazy Legs - Gene Vincent

5. Big Legged Mama - Ted Kreh
6. Big Leg Woman Gets My Pay - Blind Boy Fuller
7. Big Legs, Tight Skirt - John Lee Hooker
8. I Want A Bowlegged Woman - Bullmoose Jackson

9. Don't You Make Me High (Don't You Feel My Leg) - Maria Muldaur
10. Long-Legged Guitar Pickin' Man - Johnny Cash & June Carter
11. Red Leg Boy - Terry Allen

12. My Son John - John C. Reilly
Lost his legs to a cannonball. A hearty & sprite sailor's song about a gruesome wound. Kids always come back from the wars we send them to with such great stories and experiences.

13. Sally's Got A Wooden Leg - Sons Of The West
14. Peggy Legg - Terry Allen
15. Ballad Of The Three Legged Man - John Dunnigan
A three legged man, with a two legged woman, being chased by a one legged fool. Another great song written by Shel Silverstein!

16. Shake A Leg - BossHoss

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

#59: Lonesome Standard Time

Playlist for Sunday November 1, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Wes Harper


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Alarm Clock Boogie - Billy Briggs
3. Time Changes Everything - Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
4. Wayside/Back In Time - Gillian Welch
5. Lonesome Standard Time - Lonesome Standard Time

6. Ah! Sunflower Weary Of Time - The Fugs
7. Chitlin Cooking Time In Cheatem County - The Holy Modal Rounders
8. Peach Pickin' Time In Georgia - Jimmie Rodgers

9. Doing My Time - Al Tuck & No Action
10. Just Bidin' My Time - Gene MacLellan
11. Good Times - Willie Neslon
12. Baby Let The Bad Times Be - Junior Brown

13. Who Winds Your Clock - Bucky Bates
14. Time Moves Slowly - Lucas Stagg
15. In My Time Of Dyin' - Bob Dylan

16. Bedtime Story - Tammy Wynette

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

#58: Gotta Quit Smokin' (If It Kills Me)

Playlist for Sunday October 25, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Trina Alix


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Cigarettes Will Spoil Yer Life - Carl Sandburg
3. Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette - Tex Williams And His Western Caravan
4. I Gotta Quit Smokin' (If It Kills Me) - Randy Sutherland

5. Caffienne And Nicotine - Curtis Gordon
6. Cigarettes And Coffee Blues - Lefty Frizzell
7. Coffee, Cigarettes And Tears - The Larks

8. Cigareets And Whuskey And Wild Wild Women - The Sons Of The Pioneers
9. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Loud Loud Music - The Flying Burrito Brothers
10. Smokey The Bar - Hank Thompson
11. Cigarettes, Cigars - Florence Desmond

12. The Chain Smoker - Michelle Shocked
13. Smoke More Than I Drink - Romi Mayes
14. Where There Is Smoke - Gurf Morlix
15. You're My Brand - The Smokin' Joe Kubek Band

16. Granny Wontcha Smoke Some Marijuana - John Hartford

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

#57: Raise Your Voice

Playlist for Sunday October 18, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Jen Turnbull

"Raise Your Voice" is the name of CFRU's annual fundraising drive. This year, "This Un-Godly Hour" exceeded our $300 target and raised over $700! Thank you to everyone who donated. All your contributions are very much appreciated.


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Voice Throwin' Blues - Walter Hawkins
3. When My Baby Double Talks To Me - Merle Travis
4. The Voice Of The People - Jimmy Driftwood

5. A Voice From On High - The Stanley Brothers
6. I Know His Voice - Del McCoury
7. I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling - The Osborne Brothers
8. I Hear The Voice Of A Porkchop - Jim Jackson

9. Voice Of Midnight - Gurf Morlix
10. Talk (Or Hold Your Peace) - Al Tuck

11. The Velvet Voices - Townes Van Zandt
12. Bite It - Screamin' Jay Hawkins

13. Lift Ev'ry Voice And Sing - Shooby Taylor

Saturday, October 3, 2009

#56: When The Ice Worms Nest Again - Songs About The North

Playlist for Sunday October 4, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Mary Rankin


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Dog Sled - The Louvin Brothers
3. North Pole Boogie - Billy Briggs
4. When The Ice Worms Nest Again - Stampfel & Weber

5. The Northern Trapper's Rendevous - The Loewen Family Orchestra
6. The Northern Gentleman - Stompin' Tom Connors
7. Girl From The North Country - The Country Gentlemen

8. Northern Ontario - The Chesnuts and The Trees
9. Northern Ontario Blues - Flap Jack
10. Northern Ontario Breakdown - Rae Spoon
11. North Country Fair - Carolyn Mark with The Silver Hearts

12. Snowbird - Gene MacLellan
13. Driftin' Snow - Willie P. Bennett
14. Peace Sign In The Snow - Mo' Kauffey
15. Footprints In The Snow - Mike Stevens & Raymond McLain

16. I Sing About A Dance - Uluyok and Tutinar

Friday, September 25, 2009

#55: Must You Throw Dirt In My Face

Playlist for Sunday September 27, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Kim Logue


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Dirty Boogie - Roy Hall & His Cohutta Mountain Boys
3. Throw Some Dirt On Me - Rae Spoon
4. Must You Throw Dirt In My Face - The Louvin Brothers
5. Stones In The Dirt - Rodney Decroo & Rae Spoon

6. Dirty Dog - Jimmie Revard & His Oklahoma Playboys
7. Dirty Dog Blues - Modern Mountaineers
8. Dirty Old Egg-Suckin' Dog - Johnny Cash

9. Dirty Butter - Memphis Jug Band
10. Dirty Old Man - The Fugs
11. Dirty Dodie - The D. Rangers
12. Your Low Down Dirty Ways - The Carolina Tar Heels

13. Dirty Old Town - The Pogues
14. Low Down Moanin' Dirty Lonesome Feelin' Blues - Hank Davis
15. Dirty Little Religion - Warren Zevon

16. Dirty World - Traveling Wilburys

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

#54: String Theory

Playlist for Sunday September 20, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Rob O'Flanagan


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Dusty Miller Hornpipe & Fugue in A Major for Strings, Brass & 5 String Banjo - John Hartford
3. Heartstrings - Willie P. Bennett
4. Tuggin' On My Heart Strings - Dave Rich

5. Apron String Blues - Carolina Tar Heels
6. Monkey On A String - Charlie Poole
7. You Got the Right String Baby But the Wrong Yo-Yo - Stampfel & Weber

8. Roped And Tied - Billy Jack Wills
9. Rope Stretchin' Blues - Blind Blake
10. Hangman Swing Your Rope - Hobart Smith
11. Jump Rope Boogie - Cliffie Stone

12. Pieces Of String - Alela Diane
13. Six Strings, Nine Lives - Al Tuck

14. Lay Down Your Weary Tune - Bob Dylan

Thursday, September 10, 2009

#53: There's A Higher Power

Playlist for Sunday September 13, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Rob Kerr


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. The Great Atomic Power - The Louvin Brothers
3. Power In The Blood - Sunny Side Sacred Singers
4. There's A Higher Power - The Louvin Brothers

5. (Good Old Electric) Washing Machine (Circa 1943) - John Hartford
6. Steam Powered Aereo Plane - John Hartford
7. Electric Man - Buddy Burton & Irene Sanders
8. High Voltage Gal - Luke Wills' Rhythm Busters

9. Water In The Fuel - Fred Eaglesmith
10. Almost Out Of Gas - Greg Brown
11. Hadacol Boogie - Bill Nettles & His Dixie Blue Boys
12. Hot Rod Shotgun Boogie - Tilman Franks & His Rainbow Boys

13. Coal Oil Blues - Memphis Jug Band
14. All That Oil In Texas - Oscar McLollie & His Honey Jumpers
15. Oil Rigs - Rae Spoon

16. Unsustainable - Eliza Gilkyson

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

#52: My Better Years

Playlist for Sunday September 6, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Charlie Cares

This Un-Godly Hour's One Year Anniversary Broadcast


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. One Year Ago Tonight - Don Churchill & The Texas Mavericks
3. Before This Time Another Year - Bessie Jones & The Georgia Island Singers
4. First Year Blues - Ernest Tubb

5. Seven Year Blues - The Louvin Brothers
6. Ten Years Of Love - Gurf Morlix
7. 18 Year Old Blues - Steve Carl With The Jags

8. 21 Years - Woody Guthrie
9. 99 Years - Julius Daniel
10. One Hundred Years From Now - The Byrds
11. Four Thousand Years Ago - Otto Gray & His Oklahoma Cowboys

12. Tender Years - George Jones
13. My Better Years - Johnson Mountain Boys
14. Year Of Jubilo - The Holy Modal Rounders

15. Worrisome Years - Greg Brown

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

#51: Water Works

Playlist for Sunday August 30, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Stacey Hare


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Take Me To The Water - Nina Simone
3. Bring A Little Water Sylvie - Leadbelly
4. Too Much Water - George Jones

5. Mississippi Heavy Water Blues - Roscoe Holcomb
6. Backwater Blues - Uncle Dave Macon
7. Cool Drink Of Water Blues - Tommy Johnson

8. Cool Water - The Sons Of The Pioneers
9. Ice Water - Glenn Barber
10. Fire Water - Rufus Gore
11. Muddy Water - The Cats & The Fiddle

12. Pouring Water On A Drowning Man - James Carr
13. Papas Got Your Bath Water On - Memphis Jug Band
14. Don't Throw The Baby Out With The Bathwater - The Backstabbers
15. You Don't Miss Your Water - The Byrds

16. Just A Wave - Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Thursday, August 20, 2009

#50: Since She Started To Ride - Songs About Horses

Playlist for Sunday August 23, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Emily Jardine


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. All The Tired Horses - Bob Dylan
The lead track from Bob Dylan's Self Portrait album and the only fresh original song on a double album of, ironically given the title, mostly cover songs. That irony is perhaps deepened by the fact that Dylan doesn't even sing on this track (and may not even play on it) - instead leaving it for a chorus of female voices and string section. "All the tired horses in the sun/how am I gonna get any riding [writing?] done".

3. My Rifle, My Pony And Me - Dean Martin & Ricky Neslon (intro by John Wayne)
Recorded live on set! From the soundtrack of the film Rio Bravo.

4. Since She Started To Ride - Jonathan Richman
5. High Horse Momma - Terry Allen

6. Flop-Eared Mule - The Holy Modal Rounders
7. The Horse Named Bill - Carl Sandburg
8. The Horsetrader's Song - Jimmy Driftwood

9. Molly And Tenbrooks (The Racehorse Song) - Bill Monroe
10. The Pale Horse & His Rider - Hank Williams
11. Horses - Slaid Cleaves

12. My Old Horse Died - Dock Boggs
13. Don't Ride That Horse - Old Crow Medicine Show
14. Wild Horses - The Flying Burrito Brothers

15. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning - The Del McCoury Band

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

#49: BIG Ten-Inch Records

Playlist for Sunday August 16, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Darryl Stevenson


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. BIG Time Woman - Leon Redbone
3. BIG BIG Love - K.D. Lang
4. BIG Bad John - Jimmy Dean
5. BIG Joe Mufferaw - Stompin' Tom Connors

6. My BIG Toe - Randy Sutherland
7. BIG O' Me - Al Tuck
8. BIG Group Breakfast - Old Man Luedecke

9. BIG Iron Skillet - Wanda Jackson
10. I Got Four BIG Brothers (To Look After Me) - The Maddox Brothers & Rose
11. BIG Family Trouble - Skeets McDonald

12. BIG Ten-Inch Records - Moose Jackson with Tiny Bradshaw's Orchestra
13. Tain't BIG Enough - Buffalo Johnson
14. BIG Long Slidin' Thing - Dinah Washington

15. BIG Game Hunter - Buck Owens
16. BIG Blue Balloon - John Hartford

17. World's BIGGEST Whopper - Jr. Samples

Friday, August 7, 2009

#48: In Your Dreams

Playlist for Sunday August 9, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Mary Grebenc


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Janine's Dream - The Holy Modal Rounders
3. Dream Band Boogie - Hank Harral & His Palomino Cowboys
4. Country Boy's Dream - Carl Perkins

5. Trail Dreamin' - The Sons Of The Pioneers
6. Dreaming Of My Blue Eyes - Wilf Carter
7. Kentucky Is Only A Dream - Red Belcher
8. Death Is Only A Dream - The Stanley Brothers

9. I Watched My Dream World Crumble Like Clay - Hank Williams
10. Oh, What A Dream - Johnny Cash
11. Man Of Your Dreams - Luther Wright

12. Daydreamin' - Bud Deckelman With The Daydreamers
13. Daydreaming Of You - The Silver Hearts
14. Daydreams Come True - Buddy Bain, Kay Wayne, Merle Taylor With The Hayriders

15. When I Stop Dreaming - The Louvin Brothers
16. I've Stopped My Dreaming About You - Rose & The Maddox Brothers

17. In My Dream - Al Tuck & No Action

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

#47: From The Beginning To The End

Playlist for Sunday August 2, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Lindsay (No Show) Roe


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. In The Beginning - Old Man Luedecke
3. I'll See You In The Spring When The Birds Begin To Sing - Memphis Jug Band
4. That's When Your Heartaches Begin - Billy Bunn & His Buddies

5. In The Middle Of A Heartache - Wanda Jackson
6. With A Vamp In The Middle - John Hartford
7. In The Middle Of Nowhere - The Louvin Brothers
8. Middle Of Nowhere - The Cracker Cats

9. Endless Grey Ribbon - The Corn Sisters
10. Endless Stream Of Tears - Dolly Parton
11. One Endless Night - Jimmie Dale Gilmore

12. Forever Is Ending Today - Ernest Tubb
13. Till The End Of The World Rolls Around - Flatt & Scruggs
14. End Of The Line - The Hot Club Of Cowtown
15. At The End - Leon Morris & Buzz Busby

16. End Of The Night - Washboard Hank & The Country Squires

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

#46: Walking On The Moon

Playlist for Sunday July 26, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Jocelyn Maurice

Songs about The Moon, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong first setting foot on The Moon - July 21, 1969.


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Meet Me By The Moonlight, Alone - The Carter Family
3. Shine On Harvest Moon - Vernon Dalhart & Carson Robison
4. Spoonin' Moon - Merle Travis & Judy Hayden
5. Griselda - The Holy Modal Rounders

6. Blue Moon Of Kentucky - The Stanley Brothers
7. Crazy Moon - Jimmy Work
8. My Swiss Moonlight Lullaby - Montana Slim (Wilf Carter)
9. Under A Texas Moon - King Nawahi Hawaiians

10. Howlin' At The Moon - Hank Williams
11. The Werewolf - Peter Stampfel

12. Midnight To Moonlight - Rosie Flores
13. Shoot Me To The Moon - Dan Reeder
14. RC Cola And Moon Pie - Big Bill Lister
15. How High The Moon - Slim Gaillard

16. Walking On The Moon - Lucia Pamela
From Lucia Pamela's 1969 album 'Into Outer Space', which she claims to have actually recorded in the year 2000 (with the aid of time travel) on the moon. "The air is so thin everything sounds different up there," claimed the former Miss St Louis 1926. Lucia plays all the instruments herself here, slighty out of time. According to the Into Outer Space website, "Into Outer Space with Lucia Pamela is the sound of a ragtime band lost in another galaxy, hopelessly whacked out on alien hallucinogens, desperately trying to pull together history's strangest concept album". There's even a colouring book made by Lucia Pamela as an account of her visit to the moon, replete with smoking dogs, nut people, ice-skating (on the dark side of the moon), and an Indian wedding! The moon had perhaps changed a lot by the time Neil Armstrong set his foot down there later in the year, or perhaps it was the time travel that accounts for their differing experiences. Anyway, you can download Lucia's colouring book in pdf form. And you can still enter the colouring contest started in 1969 - it's ongoing because Lucia Pamela, apparently, doesn't want to rush anyone.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

#45: Guitar Town

Playlist for Sunday July 19, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Claire Begin


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Guitar Town - Steve Earle
3. The Hot Guitar - Eddie Hill
4. Old Flat-Top Guitar - Stompin' Tom Connors
5. Dust Off This Old Guitar - Michael Hurley

6. Guns And Guitars - Gene Autry
7. Guitar Pickin' Martyrs - Luther Wright & The Wrongs

8. The Preacher Picked The Guitar - Roy Book Binder
Live at Folkway Music, Guelph Ontario, September 19, 2008
9. Flatland Farmer - Terry Allen
10. Long-Legged Guitar Pickin' Man - Johnny Cash & June Carter

11. Space Guitar - Johnny "Guitar" Watson
12. I'll Keep My Old Guitar - Adolph Hofner & His Texans
13. Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar - The Louvin Brothers

14. Lay Down Your Weary Tune - Bob Dylan

Saturday, July 11, 2009

#44: Skeletons In The Closet

Playlist for Sunday July 12, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Kent MacMillan


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Bone Dry Blues - Lowe Stokes & His North Georgians
3. Dry Bone Shuffle - Blind Blake
4. Dry Bones - Bascom Lamar Lunsford
5. Them Bones - Mitchell's Christian Singers

6. Bone of Contention - Al Tuck & No Action
7. Lazy Bones - Jeffrey Fredericks & The Clamtones
8. Madalyn's Bones - Gurf Morlix
Madalyn Murray O'Hair was called "the most hated woman in America" by Life Magazine. She was an activist, founder and president of the American Athiests organization, and was responsible for a 1963 Supreme Court ruling that ended the practice of mandatory daily prayer in public schools. In 1995, Madalyn and two of her children mysteriously disappeared. Eventually a typesetter and office manager, David Roland Waters, who had previously pleaded guilty to charges of stealing $54, 000 from American Athiests (and was outed by O'Hair), was charged with the abduction and murder of O'Hair, her two children, and an accomplice in the abduction, Danny Fry. The sawn and mutilated bones of the family were exhumed from a Texas ranch where they had been buried. Another of Madalyn's children, William Murray, had previously dissented from his mother's views, been baptized and became a preacher in Dallas. To add to the heinous injury his mother suffered, William Murray added insult to her memory, legacy, beliefs and express wishes by seeing to it that her remains were finally laid to rest with a Christian ceremony.

9. Big Boned Gal - K. D. Lang
10. These Old Bones - Dolly Parton

11. Skeletons In The Closet - Nat Gonella & His Georgians
12. Old Joe Bone - Tony Allen
13. Memphis Hambone Blues - Jolly Joe's Jug Band

14. My Bones Gonna Rise Again - Old Crow Medicine Show

Thursday, July 2, 2009

#43: Grass, Rain, & Beer

Playlist for Sunday July 5, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Mary Fera


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Dry Grass & Shadows - Alela Diane
3. Green Green Grass Of Home - Dave Alvin
4. Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass - Buck Owens
5. Church Of The Long Grass - John Wort Hannam

6. Rainmaker - The Dillards
7. It Rains Rain - Glen Glenn
8. Didn't It Rain - Sister Rosetta Tharpe

9. Blues In The Rain - Eddie Kelly's Washboard Band
10. Rainy Day Feeling - Merle Travis
11. Rainin' On The Mountain - Wes Tuttle

12. Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer - Bessie Smith with Buck & His Band
13. One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer - Snooks Eaglin
14. Shut Up And Drink Your Beer - Luke Wills' Rhythm Busters
15. Who Drank My Beer (While I Was In The Rear) - Tommy Duncan

16. It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo' - Gid Tanner & The Skillet Lickers

Saturday, June 27, 2009

#42: Long Hot Summer Days

Playlist for Sunday June 28, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Christopher Reaume


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Long Hot Summer Days - John Hartford
3. When You're Hot, You're Hot - Jerry Reed
4. The Hot Guitar - Eddie Hill
5. Hot Foot Boogie - Wilf Carter

6. They're Red Hot - Robert Johnson
7. Red Hot - Billy Emerson
8. Red Hot Breakdown - Earl Johnson & His Clodhoppers

9. Hot Dog - Buck Owens
10. Sam The Hot Dog Man - Lil Johnson
11. Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad - Wanda Jackson

12. Hot Rod Lincoln - Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
13. Hot Rod Shotgun Boogie - Tillman Franks & His Rainbow Boys
Got some car troubles? Put a little Hadacol in the tank, that should make things run just fine. "What's Hadacol?" you ask. Well it was a "tonic" medicine that was marketed as a dietary supplement, concocted by Louisiana Senator Dudley LeBlanc. It just happened to contain 12% alcohol as a "preservative". When the Federal government repealed prohibition in 1933, the 21st amendment still prohibited the sale of alcohol in violation of local laws. Many countys, particularly in the southern states, never repealed prohibition. Hadacol was a very popular medicine, especially in those "dry" counties. Some pharmacies even sold it by the shot glass.

14. Hot Rod Baby - Dick Reinhart
15. Hot Rod Mama - Jimmy Dolan

16. Hot In Herre - Boss Hoss

Friday, June 19, 2009

#41: It's Too Big Papa

Playlist for Sunday June 21, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Wesley Harper


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Father Alone - The Swan Silvertones
3. That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine - Gene Autry
4. Papa's On The Housetop - Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell

5. Everybody Works But Father - Riley Puckett
6. Pennies For Papa - "Little" Jimmy Dickens
7. My Son Calls Another Man Daddy - Hank Williams

8. Pistol Packin' Papa - Jimmie Rodgers
9. Oozlin' Daddy Blues - Bill Cox & Cliff Hobbs
10. Rattlesnake Daddy - The Bailey Brothers
11. Shimmy Shakin' Daddy - Rose & The Maddox Brothers
12. Griddle Greasing Daddy - Johnny Bucket

13. Ride Daddy Ride - Fats Noel
14. Drill Daddy Drill - Dorothy Ellis
15. It's Too Big Papa - Claude Hopkins
16. Daddy, You Got Ev'rything - Mary Dixon

17. Daddy, When Is Mommy Coming Home - Ernest Tubb

Saturday, June 13, 2009

#40: Better Days

Playlist for Sunday June 14, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Nathaniel Deshpande


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. The Letter - The Nathan Day Project
3. Shadows - The Nathan Day Project
4. Cliche - The Nathan Day Project

5. Every Day I Wake Up - Arthur Renwick
6. Every Day In The Week - Pink Anderson
7. New Day For An Old One - The Silver Hearts

8. Moving Day - The Holy Modal Rounders
9. That'll Be A Better Day - Old Crow Medicine Show
10. Back In The Goodle Days - John Hartford
11. Half Day Vacation - Tom Heinl

12. I Saw A Man At The Close Of Day - Doc Watson & Clarence Ashley
13. The Day Is Over - Dan Reeder
14. When Day Is Done - The Hot Club Of Cowtown

15. Lullaby - The Nathan Day Project

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

#39: Burning Bridges

Playlist for Sunday June 7, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Darryl Stevenson


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. I See A Bridge - The Louvin Brothers
3. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Johnny Cash
4. 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) - The Seekers

5. Stood On The Bridge At Midnight - Arthur Smith Trio
6. Floating Bridge - Sleepy John Estes
7. The Bridge - Elliott Brood
8. If By The Bridge - Jim Bryson

9. Another Bridge To Burn - "Little" Jimmy Dickins
10. The Old Swinging Bridge - Ted Lundy
11. Misty Morning, Albert Bridge - The Pogues

12. Old Blue Bridge - The Bills
13. London Bridge - Peggy Seeger
14. The Bridge Came Tumblin' Down - Stompin' Tom Connors

15. Water Under The Bridge - Guy Clark

Thursday, May 28, 2009

#38: Honey Bee

Playlist for Sunday May 31, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest K. Jane Burpee


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Honey In The Rock - Blind Mamie Forehand
3. Honey Dripper Blues No. 2 - Edith North Johnson
4. Sweet Honey Hole - Blind Boy Fuller
5. My Honey Lou - The Carter Family

6. Honey Love - The Drifters
7. Honey Bop - Wanda Jackson
8. Honey Hush - Big Joe Turner

9. Somebody's Stolen My Honey - Ernest Tubb
10. Honey Now - Gillian Welch
11. Honey Bee - Lucinda Williams

12. Honeymoon Blues - Robert Johnson
13. Gringo Honeymoon - Robert Earle Keen
14. Outlaw's Honeymoon - Steve Earle & The Del McCoury Band
15. Honeymoon On A Rocketship - Hank Snow

16. Land Of Milk & Honey - Luther Wright & The Wrongs with Sarah Harmer

Monday, May 18, 2009

#37: The Best Of The Worst Of Bob Dylan

Playlist for Sunday May 24, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Arthur MacInnes


Born May 24, 1941. It's Bob Dylan's 68th birthday!
The old guy seems at the top of his game these days with a string of sharp new critically acclaimed albums that hold up strongly against, some say supersede, the best work he's ever done. We thought it might be a good occasion, and fun, to visit some of Bob's more questionable moments.

1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Careless Love - Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash
Recorded in the CBS studios in Nashville Tennessee, February 17 & 18, 1969. Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan got together in the studio with a backing band that included Carl Perkins on guitar. The sessions were very very casual, mostly consisting of first run takes on songs never played together before. Though they attempted a couple of Dylan songs (this session's version of Girl From The North Country opens Dylan's 'Nashville Skyline' album) most of the songs are either from Johnny Cash's repertoire or other folk & rockabilly classics. Johnny sings lead for the bulk of the tracks, while Dylan sounds very tentative and often limits himself to awkward attempts at harmony. His idiosyncratic timing has never lent itself to duet singing and here just sounds ludicrously off. Johnny often has to prompt Dylan with the lyrics. Of course, the casualness is part of the charm of these recordings. Here's a couple of music history legends sounding like a couple of amateur hicks unwinding on the weekend over a few drinks, definitely unpolished but having a real good time.

3. The Boxer - Bob Dylan
4. Blue Moon - Bob Dylan
Two tracks from Bob Dylan's 'Self Portrait' Album released June 8, 1970. Though titled 'Self Portrait' (the title doesn't actually appear on the album cover but only on the spine), it's a double album of mostly covers of other people's songs with a few disinterested renditions of earlier Dylan songs mixed in. The only new Dylan original on the album, the opening track, doesn't even have Dylan singing but a chorus of female singers chanting for 3 minutes along with a string orchestra: "All the tired horses in the sun, how am I going to get any riding [writing?] done". Greil Marcus' famous review published in Rolling Stone magazine simply stated "What is this shit?"
Dylan's own account in his 2004 memoir, 'Chronicles Volume One', claims he was attempting a career suicide to gain respite for himself and his family from an overbearing and intrusive press and public: "People think that fame and riches translate into power, that it brings glory and honor and happiness. Maybe it does, but sometimes it doesn't. I found myself stuck in Woodstock, vulnerable and with a family to protect...intruders started to break in day and night. Tensions mounted almost immediately and peace was hard to come by...Moochers showed up from as far away as California on pilgrimages...rogue radicals looking for the Prince of Protest...gargoyle-looking gals, scarecrows, stragglers looking to party, raid the pantry...Each day and night was fraught with difficulties. Everything was wrong, the world was absurd. It was backing me into a corner...After a while you learn that privacy is something you can sell, but you can't buy it back. Woodstock had turned into a nightmare, a place of chaos...We moved to New York City for a while in hopes to demolish my identity, but it wasn't any better there. It was even worse. Demonstrators found our house and paraded up and down in front of it chanting and shouting, demanding for me to come out and lead them somewhere - stop shirking my duties as the conscience of a generation...I couldn't just lie there, had to take the bull by the horns myself and remodel the image of me, change the perception of it anyway...What kind of alchemy, I wondered, could create a perfume that would make reaction to a person lukewarm, indifferent and apathetic? I wanted to get some...I released one album (a double one) where I just threw everything I could think of at the wall and whatever stuck, released it, and then went back and scooped up everything that didn't stick and released that, too...I had assumed that when critics dismissed my work, the same thing would happen to me, that the public would forget about me. How mad is that?"
Though hard to perceive as a "good" album in any conventional sense, 'Self Portrait', understood in this context, does come off as one of the most audacious, self-conscious, and witty concept albums to ever hit the market. And it's still way more listenable than Lou Reed's 'Metal Machine Music'.
'The Boxer' is credited as Dylan's first ever use of vocal overdubbing as he sings both the Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel parts of the Simon-penned classic, sort of. Some claim Dylan did this as a parody after Simon & Garfunkel taunted him that they had usurped his 'folk-rock' title. 'Blue Moon' was written by Rodgers & Hart in 1934 as a show tune and adapted as a rock'n'roll song by Elvis Presley in 1956 before becoming a huge Doo-Wop hit for The Marcels in 1961, the year Dylan first arrived in New York.

5. If Dogs Run Free - Bob Dylan
Released in October 1970, just 4 months after the 'Self Portrait' album, 'New Morning' was widely heralded as Dylan's return to form and received very positive reviews to contrast with the earlier album. In retrospect, critical consensus holds the album to be a relatively uninspired one. And despite the positive reception the album received, one song, 'If Dogs Run Free', still rankled some listeners. "Some fans react more violently to this than anything on 'Self Portrait'," says Brian Hinton's 'Bob Dylan: Complete Discography'. 'If Dogs Run Free' has Dylan reciting beatnik style jazz poetry to piano and guitar accompaniment interspersed with female scat singing. The lyrics and vocal performance might have come off as a goofy lark if they had been presented in the context of something like 'The Basement Tapes' but here seems just weirdly pretentious, ridiculous, and silly.

6. Spanish Is The Loving Tongue - Bob Dylan
7. Sarah Jane - Bob Dylan
8. I Can't Help Falling In Love With You - Bob Dylan
9. Big Yellow Taxi - Bob Dylan
Four tracks from the November 1973 album simply titled 'Dylan', released by Columbia after Bob had left the label and was wooed briefly to Elektra/Asylum by David Geffen. When Dylan returned to Columbia he had them delete it from the catalog. CDs were issued in Europe in 1991, but it's never been on CD in the U.S. The album is comprised of out-takes from the 'Nashville Skyline' & 'Self Portrait' sessions which according to Dylan were only recorded as a "warm up" and "not to be used". Brian Hinton's discography quotes the Michael Gray 'Let It Rock' review asserting that the album was mixed by "some anonymous apeman who plainly has the hots for all the girls in the chorus" ... "a very muggy, boomy, indistinct sound, yet the girls come in clear as a bell. You can almost hear the click as they're switched on at the start of each chorus." Rolling Stone magazine said the album was "guaranteed to net only horselaughs". From the 'Complete Discography' here are Brian Hinton's notes on the songs:
Spanish Is The Loving Tongue (Traditional) - "Dylan's voice is properly up in the mix, he sings over finger-picked guitar stylings like the kind of waiter who serenades you over dinner hoping for a gratuity. The the backing singers drown him out and the only response is hilarity."
Sarah Jane (Dylan) - "The one Dylan original here, and absent from his book of collected lyrics. By any critical standard, this is woeful, like a witless parody. The backing singers are indeed louder than Bob, as suggested by Gray"
Can't Help Falling In Love (Creatore/Peretti/Weiss) - "Made famous by Elvis, Dylan might be singing this in his sleep. There is something stately in the way he croons these platitudes and actually imbues them with some meaning. The backing track is strictly painting by numbers."
Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell) - "An emotionless run through a paean to ecology, set to rinky-dink organ - 'Like A Rolling Stone' this is not, and if this is Al Kooper he should be ashamed. This is so bad, you really can't blame the mix, bad as it is. Joni would have the chorus girls here shot for less."

10. Blowin' In The Wind - Bob Dylan with Keith Richards & Ron Wood
The infamous July 13, 1985 JFK Stadium, Philadelphia LIVE AID concert appearance! After being introduced by Jack Nicholson as "the transcendant Bob Dylan" and having performed a sloppy version of 'The Ballad of Hollis Brown' Dylan notoriously made a somewhat garbled statement: "I hope that some of the money ... maybe they can just take a little bit of it, maybe ... one or two million, maybe ... and use it to pay the mortgages on some of the farms and, the farmers here, owe to the banks." Though the controversial comment did inspire a series of 'Farm-Aid' concerts to raise money for American farmers, it seemed to most people a crass and inappropriate remark to make at an African famine-relief benefit.
After performing 'When My Ship Comes In', Dylan ends his set with 'Blowin' In Wind'. The performance of the whole set was a shambles. He introduces Ron Wood and Keith Richards who seem to have disappeared momentarily - Dylan looks a bit confused, says, "I don't know where they are.", and starts looking over his shoulders. As Blowin' In The Wind starts Dylan's voice breaks into a half-laugh at the end of the opening line - according to Paul Williams' book 'Bob Dylan: Performing Artist 1974-1986', the stage monitors weren't working properly. Maybe. On video you can see Keith Richards raising the sound hole of his acoustic guitar up to his ear like he was trying figure out if it was his instrument that was out of tune. Dylan calls out for Richards to do a solo, which doesn't amount to much more than a few ornamental hammer-ons. More eventful is the three guitars losing the rhythm with each other briefly and then a string breaking on Dylan's guitar. Both he and Ron Wood stop playing as Wood unstraps his guitar and hands it to Dylan. Dylan pulls the cord from his guitar which causes the PA to pop and creates a short feedback squeal, and Wood passes the unplugged guitar to a stage hand. Though the video documentation fails to catch it, Ron Wood then stands on the stage empty-handed, shrugs, and starts playing air guitar, mimicking Pete Townsend style windmill strums with his arm until the stagehand brings him another guitar. Wood trys the guitar at his ear to test the tuning, manages to prod a body behind the backing drapery which prompts a head to pop out, and then digs in his pocket for a slide bar but before he can really start back in to playing the song, the set has come to a close. Then Lionel Richie marches onto the stage triumphantly to congratulate and hug everybody. "Transcendant"! Indeed.

11. Sally Sue Brown - Bob Dylan
From the May 1988 album 'Down In The Groove', the only album other than 1973's 'Dylan' to have the honor of being deleted from the Dylan catalog. With a total playing time of 32:07, it's a very short album. And like 1970's 'Self Portrait', it's mostly cover songs. Dylan admitted that songwriting didn't come as easy as it used to for him, but asserted that interpretations of songs can be creative too: "I'm not saying I made a definitive version of anything with this last record, but I liked the songs." Brian Hinton's 'Complete Discography' quotes a few reviews from 1988: "continued silence would have been more dignified than this," and "Why! There must be a reason for Dylan's new album. So tell us, Bob, what is it?". Sally Sue Brown (written by J Alexander, E Montgomery, & T Stafford) features the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones on guitar, The Clash's Paul Simonon on bass, a male chorus singing "ba-room ba-room", and has Dylan's lead vocal distractingly doubled but not synchronized by a wailing Madelyn Quebec. "A track of no quality," according to reviewer Ben Cruickshank.

12. They Killed Him - Bob Dylan
I think this is maybe the worst of the best of the worst. From 1986's 'Knocked Out Loaded', this overwrought song of social conscience was written by Kris Kristofferson. We learn about the killing of Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and Jesus Christ with a nodding trumpet leading the melody into a deep well of reverb, a robust and startling gospel chorus driving the moral home, and in case we're a little too jaded to actually get the message, there's a child choir (or are those chipmunks?) to soften us up and move the whole ordeal into the realm of camp?...parody?, sheer embarrassment.

13. Take Me As I Am (Or Let Me Go) - Bob Dylan
A Boudleaux Bryant song that I take to be the keystone of the 'Self Portrait' album, and a suitable closer for our 'best of the worst' show here: "If you can't overlook my faults, forget me. Take me as I am or let me go."

Happy Birthday Bob!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

#36: Cemetaries Downtown

Playlist for Sunday May 17, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Douglas Davey


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. The Funeral - Hank Williams
Recorded by one of the most important of the "white" country singers in 1950. A very "white" salesman from the north visits a "colored" church in Savannah while a "colored" couple mourns out front, and he sits in a "colored" pew while a "colored" preacher with "simplicity and shrewdness in his Ethiopian face" (showing "the wisdom and ignorance of a crushed and dying race") delivers a sermon at the funeral of a little "colored" boy. The "white" man can picture the "colored" boy living with his "curly hair and protruding lips" easily, since he's seen thousands of them in his "hurried southern trips". The "white" man learns a thing or two from this "colored" sermon, namely that the Lord giveth many comforts and thus has the right to take away the lives of children whenever he wants to. Clearly recorded for a 1950s "white" American audience, I guess he wants to pass this "colored" learning on to other "white" folks. I'm sure it was an important contribution to the civil rights movement.

3. Funeral Hearse At My Door - Rocky Fuller
4. Lincoln's Funeral Train - Norman Blake & Tony Rice
5. Lonely One Car Funerals - Willie P. Bennett
6. Your Funeral And My Trial - Sonny Boy Williamson

7. Graveyard Dream Blues - Bessie Smith
8. Graveyard Blues - Hobart Smith
9. Graveyard Blues - Roscoe Holcomb
10. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean - Blind Lemon Jefferson

11. The Little Grave In Georgia - Earl Johnson
A 13 year old girl name Mary Phagan was raped and murdered in Marietta, Georgia in the Spring of 1913. The trial generated a lot of attention. Leo Frank, who ran the pencil factory where Mary worked, was found guilty and convicted, though he professed innocence. And then when his death sentence was commuted, the KKK operating under the name "The Knights Of Mary Phagan" stepped in. They kidnapped Leo Frank (he was Jewish), tortured him, and lynched him. Years later, in 1982, a former factory office boy confessed on his deathbed to giving false testimony against Frank - he had actually witnessed the building janitor dragging Mary Phagan's mutilated body and even heard him admit to the crime. I guess the office boy figured it was a worse crime to be Jewish in 1913, but by 1982 was maybe rethinking things.

Earl Johnson penned and recorded this song in October 1927:
"Little Mary is in Heaven, she's there for the golden shore
We'll all praise God to meet her, where there'll be no murder no more."

12. Graveside Song - The Stevens Sisters
13. She's In The Graveyard Now - Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band
14. Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down - Bozie Sturdivant

15. Cemetaries Downtown - Old Man Luedecke

Friday, May 8, 2009

#35: Sick, Sick, Sick

Playlist for Sunday May 10, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Glenn Valliere


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Memphis Flu - Elder Curry
Recorded on December 16, 1930. Elder Curry sings about the Memphis Flu epidemic of that year. According to him, it was a demonstration of how we're all equal in God's eyes:
"North and South, East and West

Yes, you see! Yes, He killed the rich and poor
And He's going to kill more
If you don't turn away from your shame."

3. When You're Sick With The Blues - The Mississippi Sheiks
4. Sick, Sick, Sick - Freakwater
5. Sick, Sober And Sorry - Lefty Frizzell

6. Lonesome Homesick Blues - The Carter Family
7. Subterranean Homesick Blues - Tim O'Brien
8. T. B. Blues - Jimmie Rodgers
9. Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas And The Sinus Blues - David Lindley

10. Fever - Wanda Jackson
11. Trailer Fever - Tom Heinl
12. Hillbilly Fever - Little Jimmy Dickens
13. Boogie Woogie Fever - Gene O'Quinn

14. Love's Worse Than Sickness - Texas Gladden
15. Love Fever - Oakie Jones
16. Lovesick Blues - Emmett Miller

17. Don't Let Us Get Sick - Warren Zevon

#34: Cats & Dogs

Playlist for Sunday May 3, 2009
Hosted by Erin Crickett & Steve Mason

1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Pussy, Pussy, Pussy - The Light Crust Doughboys
3. Dirty Dog Blues -Modern Mountaineers
4. Cat's Got The Measles & The Dog's Got The Whooping Cough - The New Lost City Ramblers

5. My Name Is Buddy - Ry Cooder
6. Theres Cats Everywhere - Norm Hacking

7. Woody - Hayden
8. He's A Good Dog - Fred Eaglesmith

9. Egg Sucking Dog - Johnny Cash
10. Call Me A Dog - Ramblin' Jack Elliott
11. My Old Dog & Me - Ramlin' Jack Elliott
12. Howl & Cry Like A Dog - The Salt Lick Kids

13. Dog - Bob Snider
14. Cat Man Blues - Blind Boy Fuller
15. Black Cat Blues - Jolly Joe's Jug Band

16. Yukon Women - Susan Ellerton

17. The Cat Came Back - Cornell Baker

Thursday, April 23, 2009

#33: Monkey Business

Playlist for Sunday April 26, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Ian Reid

1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Monkey On The Interstate - Michael Hurley
3. Monkey On A String - Cal Stewart
From a 1907 wax cylinder recording! Cal Stewart was born in Virginia in 1856 but was famous for his vaudeville character performances as Uncle Josh Weathersby from the fictional town of Punkin Center, New England. A friend of Mark Twain & Will Rogers, and a recording pioneer, Stewart started recording for Edison in 1897 and also made recordings for Columbia & Victor before his death in 1919.

4. The Lonesome Ape - Jimmy Driftwood
5. Monkey That Became President - Tom T. Hall

6. Too Much Monkey Business - Chuck Berry
7. Rock 'n' Roll Jungle - Joe Benson
8. Monkey Man - Toots & The Maytals
9. Monkey - Lord Messam & His Calypsonians
Though Lord Messam calls his band Calypsonians, he's known as a preminent example of Mento. Mento is a Jamaican folk music closely related to Calypso (originating in Trinidad & Tobago) but with a distinct history and lacking the Spanish influences. Largely played on acoustic string instruments with hand drum accompaniment, and very popular in the 1950s, Mento is a precurser to Jamaican ska and reggae music.

10. You Gonna Look Like A Monkey - Michael Hurley
11. Too Many Monkeys - Randy Sutherland
A song co-written by Randy Sutherland & Bill Cino. Recorded live with Tamarack in 1984 & featuring Jeff Bird, James Gordon, & David Houghton.

12. One Monkey - Gillian Welch

13. Porcelain Monkey - Warren Zevon
Written by Warren Zevon & collaborator Jorge Calderon after noticing a porcelain monkey with onyx eyes on the coffee table in a postcard of Elvis Presley's TV room at Graceland. From the Life'll Kill Ya album, released a year before and portending Warren Zevon's diagnosis of a rare asbestos related lung cancer. After suffering shortness of breath and dizzyness while playing some 2002 Canadian folk festival gigs, he saw a doctor for the first time in 20 years and, after one day of tests, was told he had 3 months to live. Warren Zevon described himself as a folk singer. Because he had a big hit early in his career (Werewolves Of London) he thought he was viewed, late in his career, as a down & out 70s rock star. He said, in a 2001 interview, that he prefered to think of himself as a very successful folk singer.

14. Tweeter & The Monkey Man - The Traveling Wilburys

15. Jealous Daddy's Death Song (Don't You Monkey With My Widow) - The (Un)Holy Modal Rounders

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#32: Lush Green Trees

Playlist for Sunday April 19, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Wes Harper

1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Baby Let's Go Down To The Woods - Floyd Dixon
3. Green Tree Boogie - Bill Haley & The Comets
4. The Pine Tree - Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash

5. Shining Birch Tree - Wade Hemsworth
6. The Alder Trees - Alela Diane
7. Lush Green Trees - Michael Hurley

8. Willow Tree - Roscoe Holcomb
9. Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow - The Carter Family
10. Weeping Willow Blues - Pink Anderson
11. Weeping Willow Blues - Bessie Smith

12. Hangman Tree - Almeda Riddle
13. I Whipped My Woman With A Single Tree - Memphis Jug Band

14. Sad As A Forest - Old Man Luedecke

Friday, April 10, 2009

#31: That Sinking Feeling - Songs of Seafaring, Love, and Tragedy

Playlist for Sunday April 12, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Carly Wilson


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. The Sailor Being Tired - Dillard Chandler
A tired sailor is put to bed by an inn's maid and, at his request, puts herself to bed with him. He leaves her, pregnant with his child, and heads to sea with no promise of return. If it's a boy tell him this, if it's a girl tell her that.

3. The Dark-Eyed Sailor - Karen James
A woman hasn't seen the dark-eyed sailor she's betrothed to for two years when she encounters a stranger who tries to convince her to abandon hope for his return. When she refuses to be untrue, the stranger, bearing the other half of the engagement ring he left with her, reveals himself to be her lost dark-eyed sailor (somehow she didn't recognize him, though she recognized the ring). They live happily ever after in a cottage by the sea. Moral: "Girls, be true while your lover is away".

4. A Hundred Years Ago - A.L. Lloyd
In some versions of this shanty, the sailor is anticipating an impending return to his mother. Not here: "When I sailed across the sea, my gal said she'd be true to me. I promised her a golden ring. She promised me that little thing."

5. I'm Out On The Ocean A-Sailing - Leslie Riddle
Though little known and largely unrecognized, Leslie Riddle may be one of the most influential musicians in the history of country music. Born in North Carolina in 1905, he taught himself to play guitar after he lost a leg in a cement plant accident. He met A.P. Carter in 1928, just as The Carter Family (lauded as the founders of commercial country music) first formed and he accompanied Carter on his "song-collecting" trips. While Carter collected lyrics, it was Leslie Riddle who was in charge of remembering the melodies. It was also Leslie Riddle who taught Maybelle Carter much of her legendary guitar picking technique. Overlooked and lost to obscurity in the Carter Family shadow, Mike Seeger learned of Riddle from Maybelle Carter after playing a concert with her in the early 1960s and tracked him down in Rochester, New York. The recordings Seeger made of Leslie Riddle between 1965 and 1978 (he died in 1980) are all we have of him and are available on the album Step By Step released by Rounder Records. 'I'm Out On The Ocean A-Sailing' seems a metaphor of religious questing: heading to harbour, finding religion in the lonesome valley, and on his way to the city. But as he sings he's not there yet; he's still "out on the ocean a-sailing".

6. Seaman's Blues - Hank Williams Sr.
A Texan on a tanker from the Gulf of Mexico en route to Italy longs for the soil of Texas and the girl he left behind. "Nights are so lonely on the ocean".

7. Off To Sea Once More - Jerry Garcia & David Grisman
"I spent a night with Angeline too drunk to roll in bed. My watch was new and my money too, in the morning with them she fled." A Sailor ashore on a binge ends up in dire straits and is forced, regretfully and miserably, to go to sea once more aboard a whaling ship in the arctic: "It was then that I wished that I was dead or safe with the girls ashore".

8. The Sailor's Plea - Jimmie Rodgers
A sailor hears rumors that his love ashore is about to wed another man despite her promises to wait for him. He begs her to dispel the rumors or he will never return to shore again.

9. Sailor Boy - The Carter Family
A sailor setting off to sea promises his love that he'll return. The ship returns, but alas, the sailor doesn't. However a letter he wrote on his deathbed promises he will meet his love in heaven.

10. Where is My Sailor Boy (What Does The Deep Sea Say?) - The Lily Brothers & Don Stover
A woman who lost her love to the sea communes with the ocean that now embraces the man she used to embrace.

11. A Seaman's Girl - The Louvin Brothers
"A seaman's girl lives a life that is lonely while her man is gone out to sea". She's filled misery and worry, but she keeps that, stoically, to herself.

12. The House Carpenter - Clarence Ashley
Returning from sea, a sailor seeks out his love to find her with a child and married to a house carpenter. He explains how he forsook a chance to marry the king's daughter for her and asks her to forsake the house carpenter and come with him to sea. Two weeks at sea, she weeps for the loss of the child she left behind. Threes weeks at sea and the ship springs a leak and goes down.

13. Sinking In The Lonesome Sea - June Carter Cash
The captain of the 'Merry Golden Tree' promises his daughter's hand to a sailor if he succeeds in sinking an enemy ship, a "Turkish Reveille". The sailor swims to the enemy ship and succeeds at his espionage but the captain reneges his promise, refuses to throw a rope and leaves the sailor to drown. The sailor knows he could sink the 'Merry Golden Tree' by the same means he sunk the enemy ship, but his love of the captain's daughter and the fellow sailors on board prompts him to spare it. Instead, he accepts his fate, bows his head and sinks in "the low and the lonesome low".

14. The Ocean - Alela Diane
A woman longs for the ocean she loves. She wishes she could go to the sea and have her husband follow, but his "heart is with the hillside" and she sacrifices to stay there with him "Lost up in the mountain".

Saturday, April 4, 2009

#30: Horticultural Therapy - Songs About Flowers

Playlist for Sunday April 4, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Trina Alix


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Where Have All The Flowers Gone? - Pete Seeger
3. Ah! Sunflower Weary Of Time - The Fugs
4. You Are My Flower - The Carter Family

5. Fatal Flower Garden - Nelstone's Hawaiians
6. Gather Flowers For The Master's Bouquet - Hank Williams
7. Flowers On The Wall - The Statler Brothers
8. This Wallflower's Gonna Bloom - Margaret Elliot
9. Field Of Flowers - Vernon Oxford

10. Your Love Is Like A Flower - The Osborne Brothers
11. Brother Flower - Townes Van Zandt
12. Lace And Pretty Flowers - Willie P. Bennett

13. Roses While I'm Living - Dock Boggs
14. A Bouquet Of Roses - Wilf Carter
15. Laredo Rose - The Texas Tornados
16. (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden - Lynn Anderson

17. Give Me The Flowers - Terry Allen

Saturday, March 28, 2009

#29: Loose Talk

Playlist for Sunday, March 29, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Glenn Valliere


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Don't Start Me Talkin' - Sonny Boy Williamson
3. Keep A Talkin' Baby - Gene O-Quinn
4. When My Baby Double Talks To Me - Merle Travis

5. Everybodys Talkin' About Sadie Green - The Memphis Jug Band
6. Loose Talk - Carl Smith
7. I'm The Talk Of The Town - Reno & Smiley
8. Let The Whole World Talk - The Johnson Mountain Boys

9. I Know What You're Talking About - The Louvin Brothers
10. You've Been Talkin' In Your Sleep - Rose & The Maddox Brothers
11. Mama Talk To Your Daughter - J.B. Lenoir

12. She Never Spoke Spanish To Me - Joe Ely
13. I Don't Really Want To Talk To You - Dan Reeder
14. You Ain't Talkin' To Me - Charlie Poole

15. Ain't Talkin' - Bob Dylan

Saturday, March 21, 2009

#28: Sing Me Back Home

Playlist for Sunday March 22, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Jocelyn Maurice


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. I'm Goin' Home - Charley Patton
3. Goin' Home - The Boswell Sisters
4. I Feel Like Going Home - Muddy Waters
5. I'm Goin' Home - Hank Williams

6. Sing Me Back Home - Keith Richards
7. My Long Journey Home - The New Lost City Ramblers
8. Rank Stranger - Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys

9. Goin' Home Blues - Wayne Hancock
10. Let Me Go Home, Whiskey - Snooks Eaglin
11. Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind) - Loretta Lynn
12. Bring It Home To Grandma - The Mississippi Mud Mashers

13. Take Me Back To My Mississippi River Home - John Hartford
14. Ridin' Home - The Sons Of The Pioneers
15. Any Old Time - Gene Autry

16. The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home - Greg Brown

Thursday, March 12, 2009

#27: Big Wind - Harmonica & The Deep Moan Tone

Playlist for Sunday March 15, 2009
hosted by Greg Denton with guest Kyle Fitzsimmons


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Fattening Frogs For Snakes - Sonny Boy Williamson
3. Juke - Little Walter
4. High Compression - James Cotton
5. Big Wind - Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
6. Big Road Blues - Thom Roberts & Carlos Del Junco

7. Sylvie - C.R. Avery
Guelph audiences may be aquainted with C.R. Avery from his stint backing the slam poetry duo T.O.F.U. who were a sensation at the Hillside Festival a few years ago, or from his ecstatic performances at the Carden Street Cafe over the past couple of years (one with his string quartet that felt as much like a stadium show frenzy, with Sprinsteen-like energy, as a small restaurant performance). An extradordinarily communicative and charismatic performer combining spoken-word with grade-A musical chops, C.R. Avery has been touring with and receiving glowing endorsements from folks like Tom Waits, Utah Phillips, Billy Bragg & Charlie Musselwaite. Cut and pasted from C.R.'s website "bye-oh" here's what he has to say about his unique harmonica style: "I started honing my harmonica playing by mimicking James Cotton's phrases, Jimmy Reed's high tone, and Sonny Terry's locomotive and country hoots. Little Walter was the poet, had the song craft and band leader instinct to go with the harp. But Sonny Boy Williamson's "Dont Let Your Left Hand Know What Your Right Hand's Doin'" was what I wanted to grasp. He and John Mayall solo, unaccompanied, armed only with the harp, growls, finger snap, whispered cadence and foot stomp, had me listening over and over. One hand on the ten-holed tit, the other hand's fingers on the stereo clit, trying to get the deep moan tone."

8. Five Planets In Harmonica Convergence - Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues
Roosevelt University trained musicians Corky Siegel and Jim Schwall (Siegel/Schwall Blues Band) were an important part of the 1960s young blues revivalists along with the likes of Paul Butterfield and John Mayall. Based out of South-Side Chicago they were the house band at Pepper's Lounge for an extended period with just about every important Chicago blues musician around sitting in with them on a regular basis (such as Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Billy Boy Arnold, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, Otis Spann, Bo Diddley, Lazy Lester and Sam Lay, to name a few). Recording for Vanguard from 1966 - 1974 (signed by Sam Charters), they also had the distinction of being the first ever blues band to perform with a symphony orchestra (The San Francisco Symphony conducted by Seiji Ozawa - A recorded version of "Three Pieces For Blues Band And Orhestra" was released by Polydor records in 1973). After Siegel/Schwall disbanded in 1974, Corky Siegal undertook a few projects, Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues among them - an ensemble that included string quartet, tabla drums, piano & featured harmonica.

9. Cash On The Barrelhead - Mike Stevens & Raymond McLain
10. In The Pines - Mike Stevens & Raymond McLain
11. Canada Day - The Mike Stevens Project

12. Just Like A Woman - Bob Dylan
Live at the Manchester Free Trade Hall, May 17, 1966 - The famous recording from Bob Dylan's 'gone-electric' tour, originally (and wrongly) bootlegged as the "Royal Albert Hall" concert. The first half of each concert in this tour opened with an acoustic solo set accepted reverently by a closely attentive audience. The second electric band set gets all the historic attention with the famous booing and stomping disruptions and someone yelling "Judas!" at Dylan from the audience along with Dylan's own antics, intransigence, and audible instructions to the band to "play it fuckin' loud!" as they kicked off Like a Rolling Stone. But the first set is remarkable in itself - incredibly delicate, fluid, beautiful and entrancing - and, I suppose, gives some sense of what his acoustic devotees may have felt they were losing on at least the aesthetic level (though much of the protest had as much to do with a perception that Dylan was abdicating his political and social responsibilities). Just Like A Woman was the second last song of the opening acoustic set that night, and though there is varied opinion about the merits of Dylan's harmonica prowess, this song ends with a gorgeous, narrowly drawn, melodic swirl of a solo that should at least give some naysayers a moment of considerable pause.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

#26: The No Sleep Blues

Playlist for Sunday, March 8, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton

A particularly Un-Godly Hour this week given the clocks will be turned ahead one hour for Daylight Savings Time.


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. No Sleep Blues - Wayne Hancock
3. Sleepy Time Blues - Jess Hooper With The Daydreamers
4. Sleepy Eyed John - Ole Ramussen
5. Can I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister - Charlie Poole
6. A-Sleeping At The Foot Of The Bed - "Little" Jimmy Dickens

7. I Walk In My Sleep - Berna Dean
8. Sleep Talking Blues - Ma Rainey
9. You've Been Talkin In Your Sleep - Rose & The Maddox Brothers
10. (Last Night) I Heard You Crying In Your Sleep - Hank Williams
11. I'm Gonna Sleep With One Eye Open - Dolly Parton

12. Mother's Not Dead She's Only Sleeping - Charlie Monroe
13. Sleep On Darling Mother - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
14. Will the Roses Bloom (Where She Lies Sleeping) - Flatt, Scruggs & The Foggy Mountain Boys

15. Sleep Baby Sleep - Jimmie Rodgers
16. Sleep - The Hot Club Of Cowtown
17. Get To Sleep - Bob Holmes

18. Wake O Wake You Drowsy Sleeper - Dyad

Friday, February 27, 2009

#25: Last Waltz At The El Strato - Cowboys and the Canadian East Coast

Playlist for Sunday, March 1, 2009
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Lea Tran


1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Cool Water - The Sons Of The Pioneers
3. Happy Cowboy - The Sons Of The Pioneers
4. Chant Of The Wanderer - The Sons Of The Pioneers

The Sons Of The Pioneers were one of the foremost of the Western/Cowboy singing groups with the famous Hollywood cowboy, Roy Rogers (aka Leonard Slye), as one of the founding members. But also founding and fronting the group as well as being its chief songwriter was Bob Nolan, who penned huge classics of the Cowboy genre like Tumbling Tumbleweeds, and Cool Water. Bob Nolan was born Robert Clarence Nobles on April 1, 1908 in Hatfield Point, New Brunswick. During World War 1, his father served in the United States Army. He changed his name to Nolan and settled in Arizona after the war. Bob Nolan moved there with him when he was 14 years old, studied at the University of Arizona, and then left to ride the rails to Los Angeles to start a singing career when he was 17. After a number of groups and attempts to establish a career foothold, The Sons Of The Pioneers (intially called The Pioneer Trio) formed in 1933 and signed to Decca Records in 1934. Bob Nolan died in Los Angeles in 1980 from a heart attack.

5. Pete Knight, The King Of The Cowboys - Wilf Carter
6. There's A Love Knot In My Lariat - Wilf Carter
7. I've Hung Up My Chaps And Saddle - Wilf Carter

The acknowledged "father" of country music, Jimmie Rodgers (also known as the Blue Yodeler, or The Yodeling Brakeman) launched his career after auditioning for Ralph Peer's famous Bristol, Tennessee field recordings for Victor in 1929. He was hugely influential and there were many subsequent imitators. But Wilf Carter, born in Port Hilford, Nova Scotia (Dec 18, 1904) had a background as a yodelling singer that actually predates the start of Jimmie Rodgers' career. One of nine children in a poor family, Wilf was working the fields away from home at an early age. It was while working in Canning, Nova Scotia at the age of 12 that he witnessed a travelling Swiss performer named 'The Yodeling Fool' and began to teach himself to yodel. He left home at the age of 15 after a dispute with his father (a strict baptist minister) and eventually wound up in Alberta working the harvests, learning to break horses, and making some extra money singing at dances. He did his first radio audition in 1925, and his first full radio job was with CFCN in Calgary in 1930. This led to work with the CBC and to a songwriting contract with a publishing house in Toronto. By 1934 he was recording for RCA records in Montreal and then started broadcasting for CBS in New York in 1935 (he was dubbed as Montana Slim for American audiences, but continued to release his records as Wilf Carter in Canada). He died in 1996, at the age of 92, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.

8. My Nova Scotia Home - Hank Snow
9. I'm Moving On - Hank Snow
10. The Golden Rocket - Hank Snow

Born Clarence Eugene Snow in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia on May 9, 1914, Hank ran away from an abusive family situation to work as a cabin boy and labourer for the Merchant Marines at the very young age of 12, bought himself a guitar from the Eaton's catalog when he was 14, and played his first show in a church basement in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia at the age of 16. He studied the music of Jimmie Rodgers from records given to him by his mother and went to Halifax in 1933 where he managed to do some radio work. He auditioned for RCA in Montreal in 1936 and stayed with the label for 45 years. He worked for the CBC for a time and moved to the United States in the late 1940s, eventually making it to the Grand Ol' Opry in 1950, the year that his song "I'm Movin' On" became a #1 hit on the billboard charts and stayed there for 21 weeks, establishing a record for the longest stand in the #1 spot that is yet to be broken. Over his career he charted more than seventy songs, 6 in the #1 spot, and several more in the top 10. He was an early promoter of Elvis Presley, was responsible for getting Elvis onto the Grand Ol' Opry, introduced Elvis to Colonel Tom Parker, and formed a booking agency with Parker to promote Elvis' career. Parker, however, managed to shut Hank out of the deal and took over Elvis' management on his own. Hank received several lifetime achievement awards, and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1978, The Country Music Hall of Fame, The Canadian Music Hall of Fame, & The Nova Scotia Music Hall of Fame in 1979, and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985. He published an autobiography in 1994 (The Hank Snow Story), and recovered from a respiratory illness to perform at the Grand Ol' Opry in 1996. He died on December 20, 1999 in Madison, Tennessee at the age of 85.

11. The Maritime Waltz - Stompin' Tom Connors
12. My Home Cradled Out In The Waves - Stompin' Tom Connors
13. Blue Nose - Stompin' Tom Connors

Known for the heavy board-shredding boot-stomp that provides rhythmic accompaniment to his guitar playing, Charles Thomas (Stompin' Tom) Connors was born in Saint John, New Brunswick on Feb 9, 1936. His teenaged mother had little means to raise him and ended up in a low-security women's penitentiary before Tom was taken by the Children's Aid Society, and then adopted into the Aylward family who raised him in Skinner's Pond, Prince Edward Island. He left home at the age of 15 and spent the next 13 years travelling back and forth across the country, hitchhiking and sometimes sleeping in jail cells, working a variety of jobs, writing songs and performing wherever he could. Eventually he landed a year long gig performing at the Maple Leaf Hotel in Timmons, Ontario which led to radio attention on the local station CKGB. Passionate about his country and it's people, he wrote songs that celebrated Canadian places, history, and lore seeking to rectify what he considered to be an absence in the country's culture. Fiercely independant, he funded his own recordings & pressings (on various small labels: Rebel, Dominion, & his own Boot Records) and sold his records off the stage and from the back of his truck. Many of his records have since been re-released through Capitol/EMI. He has been awarded several Juno awards (which he returned in protest that the Juno's are awarded too often to performers who base their careers in the United States), a number of honorary degrees from various universitys, he's an officer of the Order Of Canada, and he ranks 13 on the Greatest Canadian list. He's published a two volume bestseller autobiography: Before the Fame (1997) and The Connors Tone (2000). CBC television requested a special music program from Stompin' Tom for years, but when he finally produced one in 2005, funded by over $200,000 of his own money, documenting a live concert at Hamilton Place, the CBC declined to air it and instead offered a guest spot singing a song on someone else's show. Connors told the CBC to "shove it". Occasionally he auctions off his worn-through Stompin' Boards for charity, one recently selling for $14, 000. The Maritime Waltz, which leads off our set here, has the distinction of being what Tom claims is the fastest song he's ever written - he penned the complete song in 12 minutes!

14. Big O' Me - Al Tuck
15. In My Dream - Al Tuck & No Action
16. Last Waltz At The El Strato

When I bought my first banjo in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1991, I took lessons from Paul Mandell out of the Halifax Folklore Centre. Paul, at the time, was playing banjo in a band called Bluegrass Lawnmower fronted by a young newcomer writing some pretty remarkable songs. Cut and pasted from his myspace, here's his bio:
Al Tuck is a Canadian singer/songwriter/sometimes-bandleader long associated with the fertile Halifax, Nova Scotia music scene. No Action is the name of his band. No Action membership appears to be ever-changing. Al has been described as "one of North America's least known exceptional songwriters." He grew up on pastoral Prince Edward Island, the smallest of Canada's ten provinces and moved to Halifax, where he began in earnest his musical pursuits, eventually forming the band Bluegrass Lawnmower, which played local venues of an 'alternative' nature. Depending on how you might look at it, the style of music was either well behind, or just ahead of its time. His career officially began in 1994 with the release of two albums, Arhoolie and Brave Last Days, on murderecords, a label formed by Halifax pop group Sloan. These releases earned critical praise and led to sporadic touring across the Canadian region, but not to any great commercial success or long-lasting professional momentum, and his next disc, New High Road of Song, did not materialize until the year 2000. It was released on the Brobdingnagian label and was followed by a tour of the United Kingdom with labelmates the Guthries. A live recording, Live at the Rebecca Cohn, printed in very limited edition independently in 2002, captured Al solo at Halifax's 1000 soft-seat auditorium, opening for the singer/songwriter Haden, in the midst of a journeyman phase which saw Al performing regularly, but largely only in his hometown and occasionally in other parts of eastern Canada. Not until 2005 was his ever-expanding following treated to a new album, entitled My Blues Away, also released in an independent fashion, available only at shows, at indie record stores and online through Al's hard-to-find records barely represent his full accomplishment as a songwriter. Much of his best material has not been released, or even recorded. His influence now extends over multiple generations of musicians, and it is among these peers and proteges that his reputation remains strongest. Many of them regard him as Canada's best, but the wider listening public remains unaware. Played mostly on the bar-room circuit, live shows have ranged from the shambolic to the hypnotic, often depending on the relative preparedness of the night's band. Whether they hit or miss, repeat customers will verify: no two shows are ever the same. Some acts Al has shared bills with: David Grey, Vic Chesnutt, Howe Gelb, Calexico, Garth Hudson, Tom Russell, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Marilyn Manson, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails, Haden, Buck 65, Joel Plaskett, Matt Mays, Julie Doiron, Sarah Harmer, Feist, Old Man Luedecke, Ruth Minnikin, and Catherine MacLellan.

17. Jolly Waffle Man - Bill Keith

After Earl Scruggs, probably the most influential and innovative banjo player to come out of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass boys, is Bill Keith. Keith was born in Boston on December 20, 1939. As a child his parent's started him with piano lessons but he soon moved on to tenor banjo and didn't take up the 5 string banjo until 1957 after exposure to Pete Seeger's playing. From there he developed a keen interest in bluegrass music and the fast pace and cascading notes of Earl Sruggs' 3-finger banjo picking style, the style that defines bluegrass banjo. Keith wrote out note for note transcriptions of Earl Scruggs' music in tablature form and when Earl Scruggs eventually saw these, he enlisted Keith to assist him in the banjo instruction book Scruggs was writing. In 1963, Keith was in Nashville working with Scruggs on his book when they visited the Grand Ol' Opry on a Saturday. Backstage, Bill Monroe happened to hear Keith picking his version of the fiddle tune Devil's Dream, note for note, which required stepping beyond the conventions of Scruggs's style arpeggios that could only ever hint at, but not fully play, the intricate and complex melodies of fiddle music. Keith had developed a method of playing that involved full scales picked across the strings instead of along them that allowed him to incorporate these complex melodies into his banjo rolls along with a host of other innovative melodic and chromatic scale licks that had people who heard him believing that he had reinvented the banjo. Bill Monroe hired Keith that night, and soon after it was hard to find a banjo player who wasn't trying to pick fiddle tunes using what has come to be known as "Keith Style" picking.

So, what's this got to do with the Canadian East Coast? Here's an excerpt from the Biography in the Bill Keith banjo instruction book: ~In 1960 Bill took a giant step toward developing his own style. He had been picking regularly with June Hall, a fiddler of Nova Scotian descent who was living in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. At first, Bill would back up her fiddle tunes with straight-ahead Scruggs rolls. But as time went on it occured to him that nothing was stopping him from playing those tunes note-for-note on the banjo. 'Devil's Dream' became his first target. "Initially I started off trying to play harmony to her lead. But when I went home I started to play the lead." And that was it. With 'Devil's Dream' under his belt, Bill decided to tackle 'Sailor's Hornpipe.' That, too, was easily rendered melodically and soon the applications of this style began to mushroom. Bill started working out scales and melodic licks based on those scales so that he could apply his new approach to vocal tunes as well as instrumentals...~

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

#24: Rise When The Rooster Crows

Playlist for Sunday, February 22, 2009.
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Tara Treanor.

1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Rise When The Rooster Crows - Norman Blake & Peter Ostroushko
3. The Old Hen Cackled And The Rooster's Going To Crow - Fiddlin' John Carson

This is the b-side of Fiddlin' John Carson's "Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane" (1923), which is often credited as the recording that first alerted the record companies to the commercial potential of 'hillbilly' music. Ralph Peer, working for Okeh records, was convinced to record Carson by local record peddlar, Polk Brockman, while on a field trip to Atlanta. Peer was there to record some dance bands and college glee clubs.
Though 55 year old Fiddlin' John Carson had a growing reputation as a performer and was regularly winning fiddle contests wherever he entered, Peer was skeptical, and thought Carson's singing was "pluperfect awful". But, if only to appease the dealer, he agreed to make a small pressing of 500 records for Brockman to sell locally. Peer didn't take the prospect seriously enough to even bother with a serial number. As it turned out, the records arrived on the eve of a major fiddling contest in Atlanta and Fiddlin' John Carson sold all 500 pressings of the record off the stage that night! Brockman immediately ordered another larger pressing and Ralph Peer, Okeh records, and the National media had their eyes opened to a new market. It's generally thought that Ralph Peer's own account overstates the numbers a little: "We didn't even put a serial number on the record... [We thought] that when the local dealer got his supply that would be the end of it. We sent him 1000 records...That night he called New York and ordered 5000 more by express and 10,000 by freight. When the sales got up to 500,000 we were so ashamed we had Fiddlin' John come up to New York and do a re-recording". Peer later switched from Okeh to the Victor Recording Company and in 1929 he went on a field recording trip in Bristol, Tennessee seeking Country & Hillbilly acts. Both The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers were among those that showed up to audition for those sessions. They became hugely successful and launched the commercial Country music industry.

4. The Rooster's Crowing Blues - Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers
5. Banty Rooster Blues - Charley Patton

6. The Crowing Rooster - Jolly Joe's Jug Band
7. The Rooster Moans - Iron & Wine
8. Rooster Fight - Fred Eaglesmith & The Flathead Noodlers

9. The Red Rooster - Howlin' Wolf
10. Hen Layin' Rooster - Dr. John
11. Bad Rooster - Koko Taylor

12. Rooster - Ray Wylie Hubbard
13. Rockin' Rooster Inn - Del Reeves
14. Rooster Rock - Brian Setzer '68 Comeback Special

15. Rooster - The Ravens

Friday, February 13, 2009

#23: Take Another Little Piece - Songs About Broken Hearts

Playlist for Sunday, February 15, 2009
hosted by Greg Denton with guest Daniel Tiller

Listen: This Un-Godly Hour, Sunday Feb 15, 2009

1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Men With Broken Hearts - Hank Williams
3. Just Another Broken Heart - The Carter Family
4. I'll Never Die Of A Broken Heart - Wilf Carter
5. Dying Of Another Broken Heart - Lindi Ortega

6. Heart Breakin' Blues - Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers
7. Broken Heart - Memphis Minnie
8. Aching Breaking Heart - George Jones
9. Heartbreak Hotel - Wanda Jackson

10. Only You (Can Break My Heart) - Buck Owens
11. You Can't Break My Heart - The Hot Club Of Cowtown
12. Humpty Dumpty Heart - Hank Thompson
13. Heartbreak Train - Rosie Flores

14. Don't Look Now (But Your Broken Heart is Showing) - Ernest Tubb
15. Broken Fuckin' Heart - Luther Wright & The Wrongs

16. Little Piece Of My Heart - John Hartford